Well where do I start! We boked our holiday via a local agent with Red Sea Holidays to the Grand Makadi, Hurghada staying 14 nights.
The remit we gave the agent was plenty of space to rest and relax, with as few children as possible (sorry folks, I too have children and love mine and others to bits but this was to be one of the first holidays in 33 years without our's or someone else's children ~ forgive me for not wanting to spend the time listening to the inevitable tears and tatrumst that come with the heat and holidays).
Basically we wanted somewhere where we weren't under pressure to join in (unless we decided to), take trips and generally sucumb to copious amonts of hassle. We got exactly what we asked for in booking the Grand!
We were met at the airport and transfered extremely quickly to our hotel, where were were equally quickly shown to our room and our luggage delivered.
The resort lobby was lovely, it was cool, full of plants and the decor quite oppulent. We really looked forward to being shown to our room expecting the same / similar standard. The decor in the room was somewhat tired and I would not have considered this as 5* standard. The air conditioning was rather warm and I confess to being a rather disappointed.
By the morning having had a good night's sleep, in the extremely comfortable and immaculately clean bed, I felt better and resolved that the tired decor did not make one jot of difference to the holiday ~ particularly as we intended to be in the room as little as possible and our eyes would generally be closed when we were.
Despite the decor, the rooms were immaculately clean, with fresh towels as you wanted, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion freely available. The room attendant regularly (not overbearingly) knocked to ensure that we had everything we needed. This was a really nice touch.
I did subsequently speak to the rep about the air con (we really did need it). Despite writing in down in our presence he did nothing about it. I later spoke to the reception and the air con was fixed within the hour! I would advise reporting difficulties to the reception rather than the rep if you want something doing quickly.
The resort itself was beautiful and every effort was made to keep it clean and neat. Some minor cosmetics, like tiles off the pool and the sun beds a bit shabby (but not chic), but all was clean and comfortable. The wodden beds could do with a good rub down and re-varnish and the cushions with tears need to be disposed of and replaced with new to enhance the look and really complete that 5* feel, but nothing major.
The shops on site were good and there is never any pressure to buy. ('aldi' ~ in the foyer of the hotel) is a little cheaper for some things than the shops on the beach but there really is not much in it.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
WOW, having been used to 'serve yourself buffet type only' all inclusive deals in the past; to have the option to book into waitered restaurants was a real treat. On site the Lebanese, Caribbean and Italian restuarants were superb. A few minutes walk away was the Indian, Chinese, French (and others) All of excellent standard. It is difficult to say which one was the best. We treated ourselves to dining on the beach which was really special and the additional cost minimal. Definitely recommended. All this said the buffet style was also available with masses of choice and good quality food.
We are not big drinkers ~ the odd beer, occasional spirit but mainly soft drinks and water. The bars were always well stocked and the availablity of bottled water was exceptional. Waiter service in the bar areas was very good. The pool less so but the beach (where we always prefer to spend our time) was exceptional. Ahmed, regularly refreshed our drinks (approx every 30 minutes), always remembering what we wanted and providing service with a smile and always, always attempting to make conversation with us in English.
The entertinment was passable. Generally consisting of a couple of 'pub singers' who forgot the words frequently and generally lacked professionalism. Definitely not what I would consider 5 *. I considered taking the mic away from one of them at one point~ I could definitely have done a better job (now there is a thought). There was a acrobatic act which was enhanced by the fact that a little girl performed with her dad (always good for an 'ah' moment) and the belly dancers and whirling dervish weren't bad. It was, however, a bit repetitive seeing the same acts twice or even four times over in 2 weeks).
The days were quiet on the beach, but that suited us fine. In fact I walked around the bay a little way to another resort where music was blarring out and I decided instantly that we had made the right choice. There was always gentle music playing in the lobby and bar area which was pleasant and not overbearing. This could not be heard at the pool though which might have been nice.
A bit unpredicatable during busy times. But you know what, I was on holiday and glad of the excuse to switch the rest of the world off for a while.
We only went on one organised trip. That was to Paradise island. It was a great day and a trip that I would recommend. All English passengers and a competent and confident tour guide. Abu, was excellent and catered for the needs of all of his guests giving, even novices confidence to have a go at snorkelling.
We did take the shuttle bus to Hurgharda but were a little disappointed. We both admitted to feeling a bit hassled in the street but maybe we are just too soft (never have been good at all this haggling lark).
The availabilty of this FREE bus which runs in and out of Hurgharda twice daily (for an afternoon or an evening trip) is a real bonus for those who do enjoy getting out and about.
one of the great things we did was have a massage every other day. It was an additional cost but well worth it. This really complemented the restful and relaxing holiday that we were looking for. Highly recommended. They do canvas on the beach but there is never, ever any hassle, you just say no and that is accepted.
There is a beauticians on site. Pedicure's, manicure's, hair, threading etc. Like the massage team, they also canvas on the beach but again no hassle. The beautician's is a busy little room so if you are expecting to be pampered you will probably be disappointed. It is functional though and they pride themselves on doing a quality job for both men and women.
The beach is sandy but remember this is a coral area so it is quite coarse. YOU WILL NEED WATER SHOES IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO THE SEA. The coral can be quite sharp. the water is shallow and then drops off the edge of the reef quite sharply. Perfect, if like us, you enjoy snorkelling. Perhaps not so good if you have small children who you want to let swim in the shallow. It doesn't really exist; but the pools are great for that.
We were extremely well looked after on the beach. Kerem, acknowledged everyone as they arrived and brought the cussions to the chosen parasol. What a great guy. Always up for conversation (fairly fluent in both German and English) and going out of his way to ensure that we were comfortable.
The pools are great. Given the size of the hotel you might expect that they are busy. This is not the case. There is loads of room in pools and there are plenty of sunbeds and parasols to go around (absolutely no need to be up at 3.30am to reserve ha, ha - although one particular nationality seemed to still feel it necessary).
Never once did we feel under pressure to tip. On the ocassions that we did, the amount (however minimal) was accepted with appreciation and thanks. There are general tipping boxes around the resort if you prefer to give something to be shared among the staff.
Overall, we had a great holiday. The minor disappointment we felt on arrival paled to insignificance. When I consider it in relation to the remit we first gave the agent, our expectations were easily met and in the main exceeded.
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- Also Known As:
- The Grand Makadi Hotel Hurghada
- Grand Makadi Hurghada
- Grand Makadi Bay